Science & Society

SCTODAY

Society News 2019

HR: a changing profession

A team from the UCLouvain Louvain School Management has published a white paper on human resources management in the non-profit sector. These poorly known jobs are at the forefront of...
Environment

Rethinking the energy system

As part of the 11-14 March Water and Climate Festival in Louvain-la-Neuve, Science Today is highlighting UCLouvain ecological transition research and researchers. Gauthier Limpens, a PhD...
Environment

Drug traces in water

Traces of drugs are in water worldwide. While the impact of such pollution on the environment and human health is still largely unknown, researchers of the Louvain4Water at UCLouvain are...
Environment

When soils filter wastewater

In Wallonia, one-tenth of domestic waste water doesn’t pass through a waste water treatment plant. Is it pollution? Not necessarily, because soils can filter and purify wastewater naturally...
Environment

Energy transition is rooted in the local

As part of the 11-14 March Water and Climate Festival in Louvain-la-Neuve, Science Today is highlighting UCLouvain ecological transition research and researchers. Julie Hermesse, doctor in...
Environment

Solar energy for a circular economy

The SUNRISE project, in which UCLouvain participates, just received €1 million from the European Union. With this sum, for one year, the consortium will establish a road map and...
Society

Opening Brussels to everyone

Since 2016, Metrolab, a collective project coordinated by UCLouvain sociologist Mathieu Berger, has analysed our capital from the inside. Funded by European ERDF policy, this ambitious...
Environment

Controlling nitrate

Agricultural nitrate has polluted water for decades. Today various techniques make it possible to more effectively control the use of this necessary fertiliser. It’s a much more complex...
Environment

Energy transition: what economic impact?

How to continue economic growth in a context of energy transition? Prof. Hervé Jeanmart1 and PhD student Elise Dupont2 try to answer this question by studying the return on...
Society

Young people, critical thinking, and the forest  

In 2018, the Académie d'Agriculture de France awarded Julie Matagne a silver medal for her thesis on forest literacy. What do young people understand about media coverage of forests?  ...
Health

South Africa: successful treatment of...

In 2006, South Africa experienced an tuberculosis epidemic that still leaves traces today. WHO quickly put in place recommendations to eradicate the disease. Dr Anandi Martin, a microbiologist at...
Society

Managing the post-war period: the European ‘example’?

An article by Valérie Rosoux on reconciliation speeches related to the European Union received the Journal of Contemporary European Studies prize. We took the opportunity to return with her to...

Previous Society news

The eye and the pen

Dr Anne Reverseau has received an ERC Starting Grant. This prestigious European funding will help her continue research on the (close) relationships that many writers have had with images,...

The approach fundamental research has been waiting for

The Excellence of Science (EOS) programme, created by the Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS) and the Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek-Vlaanderen (FWO), supports fundamental research...

Ingrid Falque

On 1 October 2018, Ingrid Falque, a researcher at the Institute for the Study of Civilisation, Arts and Letters (INCAL), will officially join the family of FNRS research associates. Passionate...

François Massonnet

Climate prediction is his forte . At 32 years old, François Massonnet has just been appointed FNRS research associate. While he has been working on the subject for years, he looks forward to...
Environment

An urgent warning

Will the earth’s climate reach a tipping point beyond which the planet will become a ‘hothouse’? It’s a possibility scientists warn of in an article that’s urgent reading. ‘The...
Environment

Tracking soybeans

The Trase platform, on which Patrick Meyfroidt and his team of researchers collaborate, is unique: it aims to retrace the channels of the main agricultural products responsible for...
Environment

A tool for modernising European agricultural policy

Commissioned by the European Commission (EC) and funded by the European Space Agency (ESA), the Sen4CAP research project, led by Sophie Bontemps and Nicolas Bellemans and supervised by Pierre...
Society

Evolution: Cooperation for progress...and knowledge

  ‘Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution’, says René Rezsohazy, professor of molecular biology at the University of Louvain, citing Theodosius...
Environment

Connected objects that last

In 2017, 403.5 million smartphones were sold worldwide. We usually choose one on the basis of technical characteristics, such as camera or operating system quality; we then hope it lasts long...
Society

Why we don’t consume ethically

Presented every two years, the inter-university Philippe de Woot Award aims to promote corporate social responsibility (CSR) by recognising a master’s dissertation. Among the three dissertations...
Health

Promoting appropriate prescriptions for the elderly

Many people aged 75 or older, including those in nursing and care homes and hospitals, receive inappropriate treatment. This is the research subject of Prof. Anne Spinewine, who on 12 December...
Society

A chair on the Europe of Europeans

On 15 February, the Anthropology of Contemporary Europe Chair(1) organised its first thematic day, focusing on the Danube. The new chair, launched in September at UCL, aims to build a...
Society

Food: a public commons?

World hunger continues to increase, affecting 777 million people in 2015 and 815 million in 2016. Would it help if we changed the way we look at food in our societies? That’s the idea of José...
Environment

Pay to prevent deforestation

To objectively evaluate an anti-deforestation programme, an international team of researchers carried out a randomised study in Uganda, the first of its kind in environmental science. The...

Philosophy in Andalusia : older than we thought

Europe has its roots in many influences, including the rational thought that emerged in Andalusia when Muslims occupied most of the Iberian peninsula. Godefroid de Callataÿ, a researcher and...

Alain Holeyman, 2017 Coulomb Conference guest speaker

This year, the Comité Français de Mécanique des Sols et de Géotechnique (‘French Committee for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnics’) has invited Alain Holeyman to speak at the Coulomb...

The university: (still) a man’s world?

While they make up the majority during their studies, the proportion of women decreases as the academic career progresses. A consortium of European universities, including UCL, is studying this...

Disasters: robots to the rescue

Imagine an earthquake or nuclear accident disaster area where it’s impossible to send in rescuers without putting their lives at risk. At UCL, Nicolas Van der Noot is looking to robots to do the...

Mummies full of surprises

In 2015, the Saint-Luc University Hospital Radiology and Medical Imaging Department, in collaboration with a UCL research team, scanned 25 mummies belonging to the Cinquantenaire Museum, revealing...

Memories of the Second World War: Which ones survive?

What memories do the people who lived through the Second World War pass on to their children and grandchildren? Two UCL researchers studied several Belgian families to find out. The humanities...

Gamers, who are you?

When it comes to the players of video games, preconceptions abound. They’re often disturbing stereotypes: the isolated youth with eyes for nothing but his computer, tablet or smartphone. Olivier...

How emotional intelligence can make you healthier

Being able to identify, understand, express, manage and use our emotions helps us in so many facets of our lives. According to a recent UCL study, emotional intelligence (EI) can even improve your...

Adolescent depression: Can mindfulness prevent it?

Adolescents are of course not immune to feeling blue or even depressed. Researchers are betting on mindfulness as a means of prevention, especially at UCL, a pioneer of child mindfulness. Prof....

Flanders-Wallonia: Is youth the answer?

The sometimes tense relations between the two main communities of Belgium is a subject of great interest to Bernard Rimé, a professor emeritus, a researcher at the UCL Psychological Sciences...

Better big data analysis for better epidemic management

Using big data to precisely and easily predict an epidemic’s course or a virus’s spread—that’s the seemingly incredible goal of Jean-Charles Delvenne, a researcher at the Mathematical...

Are our teens heroes?

The ‘Avoir 20 ans en 2015’ (‘20 years old in 2015’) project followed 50 teenagers in Belgium, France, Reunion and Canada on their journey toward adulthood. Chloé Colpé, a UCL doctoral...

The language of advanced age

Language use evolves throughout one’s entire life. Ageing-related problems can affect one’s ability to express oneself and complicate communication with others. At UCL, a researcher at the...

Health and undocumented immigrants: a social conundrum

Personal opinions and politics aside, the presence in Belgium of undocumented migrants raises the delicate question of their access to health care. Researchers at the UCL Institute of Health and...

Senegal: using big data to anticipate food shortages

Four young researchers of the Environmetrics and Geomatics Laboratory, led by Prof. Pierre Defourny of the UCL Earth and Life Institute, have been recognised by the Massachusetts Institute of...

A chair for fighting poverty

Among the actors working to reduce poverty and casualisation, one remains poorly known and underestimated: the social enterprise. A Belgian one, Les Petits Riens, partnered with UCL by funding a...

Refugee and immigration crises: at what cost to Belgium?

Anxieties have persisted ever since the arrival of thousands of Syrians and Iraqis on Belgian soil. But the frightful perceptions of the economic effects are erroneous, according to Dr...

What happens in the mind of an anxiety sufferer?

In Belgium, between 7 and 10% of the population suffers from anxiety disorder (AD). What exactly goes on in their minds? There are different types of AD: phobias, OCDs, generalised...

Pondering pensions: a new UCL chair

Longer life expectancy and declining birth rates are making it harder for public authorities to sustain pension systems, especially given the fragile state of public finances. To see the situation...

Analysing mobile data can save lives!

The proliferation of mobile phones has spawned a new research sector: mobile data analysis. The goal? To study new information concerning users’ social behaviours. In countries of the South,...

Metrolab: winds of change in Brussels

The Metrolab research project aims to support European urban development policies, which in turn could lead to environmental, social and economic improvements in Brussels. Metrolab is part of a...

A better understanding of deglaciation

The work of two Earth and Life Institute researchers has led to a better understanding of glaciation and deglaciation. We now know how variations in earth’s orbit influence the passage from a...

Reducing employer costs depends on low-income earners

Will reducing Belgian employer social security taxes—championed by the last two governments as a cure-all for the economy—really be effective? Only if it focuses on low-income earners, say Drs...

From the lab to the hospital: medical robotics, a team...

Exoskeletons, microsurgery robots, robotic prostheses—robotics and the medical sector have never complemented each other so well. In 2014, UCL created Louvain Bionics, a centre of expertise...

Student mission to Mars

‘Mars to earth, come in, Earth.’ UCL students can pronounce these words every April when they take off for the red planet—so to speak—via Mars Society’s Mission to Mars project. Space...

Getting surfers to smile: online emotion detection

Things go fast on the Internet. A surfer might ‘Like’ something but then all of a sudden, at the least bother or confusion, he or she will click that little ‘x’ that closes your site and...

Unemployment benefits: what happens to the excluded?

Today, when the Belgian authorities determine that an unemployed person isn’t looking hard enough for a job, they can stop paying that person unemployment benefits. What happens then? Does it...